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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


LARRAZ, P.  y  IBARROLA, C.. "Teruel feet": Care and treatment of frostbite wounds in the hospitals of Navarra during the civil war. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2005, vol.28, n.2, pp.197-212. ISSN 1137-6627.

The care of combatants with lesions caused by frostbite during the battle of Teruel, which was fought in extreme weather conditions and in temperatures as low as twenty degrees below zero, was the period of greatest medical activity and the highest rates of occupation in the military hospitals of Navarre during the civil war of 1936-1939. From November 1937 to March 1938, 375 cases of frostbite were registered in the provincial establishments, amongst which there was a predominance of cases of dry gangrene partially affecting the lower extremity, which was popularly known as "Teruel feet". Some of the medical staff, conscious of the exceptional nature of the casuistry, registered statistics, clinical cases and personal impressions of the evolution of the lesions and the effectiveness of the treatments. In treating this affectation they employed medicines, surgical techniques and novel therapeutic procedures that were not widely used in the medical milieu of the time. However, the limited duration of the problem, the inconclusive results of the treatments and the differing opinions on their effectiveness -questions that are considered in this article- restricted the subsequent medical repercussion of the experiences of frostbite developed during the wartime period in Teruel.

Palabras clave : Frostbite; History; Civil war; Military hospitals.

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